Global Systemic Racism

About the Global Systemic Racism Working Group

The Global Systemic Racism Working Group is led by law professor and Associate
Dean Kristen Barnes of Syracuse University College of Law and clinical law professor
David Oppenheimer, director of Berkeley Law School’s Center on Comparative
Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law. The working group emerged out of the global
Black Lives Matter protests in the Summer of 2020 following the police murder of
George Floyd and other BIPOC people around the globe, and is motivated by the
necessity to provide a global critical voice to racial injustice. 

In September 2021, the group hosted a two-day Global Systemic Racism Conference,
attended by preeminent scholars and activists from around the world whose work
relates to race and racism. In June 2022, the group hosted a hybrid Global Systemic
Racism Conference in Paris, France, at Sorbonne Law School. This conference
provided scholars from around the world with the opportunity to present their work
on racism. The resulting essays will be compiled in a book that Barnes and
Oppenheimer are editing. In addition to the book, the group is working on creating an
edX course on global systemic racism.

Global Systemic Racism Working Group Projects

Paris Conference, April 26-27, 2024 

This coming April, contributing authors to the Working Group’s book project will convene in Paris to discuss their respective chapters. These discussions will be recorded and uploaded as stand-alone Continuing Legal Education programs, which can be taken for free via the Berkeley CLE platform.

Caste Webinar, September 16, 2022

Event Recording

South Asia’s caste system is a socio-political basis for discrimination, with Dalits, persecuted as the “untouchables” of society, facing prejudice in the workplace and academia.  As South Asians have migrated to jobs and academic positions in the United States, caste discrimination has followed. This webinar opens with a presentation about the origins of caste and how it drives discrimination in society.  We will then explore protections against caste discrimination in the U.S., both in the academy and the workplace.  We will discuss the recent inclusion of caste as a protected status in California State University’s anti-discrimination policies and a landmark lawsuit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing against Cisco Systems alleging discrimination against a Dalit engineer based on his caste status. 

Global Systemic Racism Conference, September 17 – 18, 2021

The Global Systemic Racism Conference tapped into the global nature of newly emerging movements and critiques of the structures that fueled them. The event brought together prominent scholars who are working in their fields on varied issues concerning, for example, disparities in healthcare, housing, education, employment, wealth, income, political power, mass incarceration, and policing. These scholars and activists are intervening in ways that reveal that the problems are interconnected and that the structuring of the systems relies upon and reproduces racial inequality. The conference explored theories, strategies, movements, campaigns, and events as well as patterns and practices of racial oppression, similarities, and divergences.

To learn more about the conference, watch conference recordings, or read about conference speakers and participants, click here

Who We Are


Student Assistants